Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko coach Abdul Karim Razak is now flirting with Togo’s Etoile Flante as the coach with the onerous responsibility to return the team which was demoted to the lower division last year back to the elite side.
Etoile Flante, together with Agaza de Lome, was demoted to the 2nd Division side and the Ghanaian who coached the club between 1997 and 1998 was contacted to salvage the image of the club and return it to where it belongs- the Elite division in Togo’s football Clubs.
“I have been given a year’s contract with an option to continue and I have accepted it because I know I am capable of returning the team to the First Division side,” Coach Razak told Graphic Sports Online in an interview.
Razak, a former Black Stars midfielder who was voted the Best Player in the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations when Ghana hosted and won the tournament, took over the team in August 20 and has started recruiting players from Ghana and Nigeria to team up with their Togolese counterparts to form a formidable team prior to the beginning of the Togolese Second Division League season.
Among the players recruited from Ghana are goalkeeper Seth Afful, Awudu Massawudu, Daniel Nimo, Pius Akwetey, Ben Adjetey and Okebo Ofori. The Nigerians are goalkeeper Junior Aihevba and Yusif Ibrahim Adeleke.
Razak, who was full of confidence, said he was in Togo to prove his worth as a reputable coach who was capable of transforming Etoile Flante into a winsome side once again.
“The players I have recruited from Ghana and Nigeria are ordinary, but they have great potentials, so given the right opportunity, techniques and tactics, they can excel and return Etoile Flante to the elite side,” he explained.
He said he might have been considered for the job due to his previous performances in the 1997/98 league season.
“When I was the coach with Etoile Flante, we were second on the league table and won the Eyadema Cup on two occasions. I was also voted the Best coach before I left for Benin,” he explained.
“When I signed the contract, I realised that I needed to form a team and that explains why I have recruited players from Ghana and Nigeria, and since then, we have won five out of the seven friendly matches played and drew on two occasions, so we are on course,” he noted.